Alcohol FAQ

In an effort to help preserve the well-being of the Ohio University community, the content of this site provides answers to frequently asked questions about alcohol abuse, high-risk drinking, and the University's response to it.

What is high-risk drinking?

High-risk drinking is the excessive consumption of alcohol that leads to serious negative consequences, not only for those who are drinking but for others around the person drinking. The negative consequences include academic failure, accidents, falls, fights, injuries, sexual assaults, vandalism, arrests, and community disruption.

How prevalent is alcohol use among Ohio University students?

Most students at Ohio University abide by the law and don't get into trouble related to alcohol use. Most understand the risks involved in drinking (63 percent say that having five or more drinks in one night is dangerous) and most (70 percent) have not allowed alcohol use to interfere with their academic performance. Most Ohio University students (73 percent) drink 0 to 2 times per week. (Ohio University Alcohol and Drug Survey).

What are the consequences of high-risk drinking?

Alcohol use is a factor in 40 percent of all academic problems encountered by college and university students across the country. More critically, it is a factor in an estimated 28 percent of all dropouts. In some cases, students are hospitalized for alcohol poisoning or injuries sustained due to excessive alcohol consumption. In the most extreme cases, students die by overdose or from injuries sustained while intoxicated.

What is Ohio University's stance on high-risk drinking?

Ohio University is committed to doing all that it can to help every student and the community avoid the negative consequences of high-risk drinking.

The University employs the harm-reduction model as a dimension of its overall strategy to reduce high-risk drinking. This risk-reduction model systematically works toward increasing the incidence of abstinence among college students while at the same time decreasing high-risk use and associated problems.

What is expected of students?

Ohio University expects students to be responsible citizens of the University and Athens communities.

To aid students in their decision-making, the University requires all new students at Ohio University to successfully complete a 2 ½ hour online alcohol education course called "AlcoholEdu for College." This nationally-distributed program is interactive and employs cutting edge technology, and is intended to challenge students' expectations around alcohol while enabling them to make healthier and safer decisions. It does not assume that a student drinks.

What should I do if I suspect someone has a drinking problem?

If you believe someone has a drinking problem, support them in getting assistance. Suggest they complete an anonymous self-assessment online at or that they have a confidential conversation with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services on the third floor of the Campus Care Clinic, 740-593-1616.

If you believe this person is at risk for serious harm due to alcohol use, consult with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services or, in an emergency, contact the Office of the Dean of Students, Baker University Center, 740-593-1800, or the Ohio University Police Department, Scott Quad, 740-593-1911 (24/7).